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Jeremy Lazarus

Stories by Jeremy

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Mayor on hook for school modernization plan with charter change signing

Backed by a unanimous legislature, Gov. Ralph S. Northam has signed a new charter measure for Richmond that will require Mayor Levar M. Stoney to come up with a fully funded plan for modernizing every city school without a tax increase or explain why he cannot.

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Confederate flag replaced at Riverview Cemetery

A Confederate flag flying in Riverview Cemetery in Richmond’s West End has been replaced with a new banner — the Christian flag, a white banner with a red cross centered in a small, blue square in the flag’s top left corner.

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Medicaid expansion, state budget talks continue

Virginia’s budget impasse remained unresolved Wednesday as the Virginia House and Senate adjourned about 90 minutes into the special session called by Gov. Ralph S. Northam without taking any action.

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Evicted

Richmond ranks No.2 nationally in displacing people from their homes and apartments by eviction

Marcel Slag has been fighting evictions for 28 years as a lawyer with Central Virginia Legal Aid and its now independent Justice Center.

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104-year-old city real estate firm sold

Brothers Jeffrey Finn and John S. Finn Jr. are breathing new life into the oldest African-American-owned real estate company in continuous operation in Richmond.

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City natural gas price going down

Richmond residents who cook and heat with natural gas will get a price break on its cost next month because of a sharp jump in production.

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Joe Morrissey disbarred for violating State Bar rules

“Fighting Joe” has been hit with a knockout blow. For the second time in his career, Joseph D. “Joe” Morrissey, a savvy attorney and former Richmond prosecutor who built a reputation as a courtroom battler, has lost his license to practice law.

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Why is it flying?

The Confederacy may have been defeated, but the flags of the rebels who fought to separate from the United States to keep black people in bondage still fly in city-owned cemeteries.

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Medicaid expansion to be key in state budget battle April 11

The high-stakes battle over Virginia’s next two-year budget resumes next Wednesday, April 11. On the line: Expansion of health care to 300,000 to 400,000 low-income Virginians, pay raises for state workers and teachers, and increased state support for education, mental health and workforce development.

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City Hall fends off ransomware attack

The Richmond City Hall information technology staff has fended off the same kind of ransomware attack that crippled city computers in Atlanta for more than a week.

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Annie Giles, community activist, dies at 81

As a minister’s daughter, Annie Marie Turner Giles felt driven to help others overcome problems and challenges in the Whitcomb Court public housing community in the city’s East End.

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VUU president seeks dismissal of fraud lawsuit

Virginia Union University President Hakim J. Lucas is fighting back against an explosive lawsuit from his former employer, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

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U.S. Census Bureau: City population continues to grow

Richmond’s population has jumped above 227,000 people for the first time in at least 40 years, and current trends suggest the capital city’s population should easily exceed 230,000 residents when the mandatory 10-year census is taken in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Morrissey found to have violated a State Bar rule

Attorney Joseph D. “Joe” Morrissey moved a step closer this week to being disbarred for the second time in his legal career after a three-judge panel upheld one count of serious misconduct against him.

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Residency requirement could be scrapped for all but key city employees

Two members of Richmond City Council are seeking to largely scrap a 25-year-old policy of requiring city executives, managers and council appointees and staff to live in the city — ensuring they would be closer to the people they serve and also would contribute to the city through tax payments on their homes, cars and purchases.

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City Council calls for Washington team to pay its way or end relationship

Will Washington’s pro football team continue to run a summer training camp in Richmond after 2020? That question is expected to be decided after Mayor Levar M. Stoney and team representatives hold talks, likely in May, on a potential extension of the current agreement.

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Heating repairs still needed on 104 public housing units

Heat has been restored to more than 300 public housing units, but work still needs to be completed in more than 100 other units.

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China’s new policy threatening recycling in U.S.

At least half the cans, bottles, plastics and paper collected for recycling used to end up in one place — China. Now China has decided to stop accepting most of the recycled materials that it once purchased. And that decision is having huge ripple effects on recycling programs in Richmond, as well as other communities in this country and overseas.

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City Democratic Committee election overturned

The Richmond City Democratic Committee has been temporarily shut down and its current officers, including its politically connected chairman, James E. “J.J.” Minor III, removed after an arm of the state Democratic Party nullified the recent election, the Free Press has learned.

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Wilder sues VCU president, dean of school named for him

He may be 86, but former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder is showing Virginia Commonwealth University he is not to be trifled with.

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Henry L. Marsh III to introduce his memoir

He had his sights set on making his living as a truck driver. Then Henry L. Marsh III went with a group of high school buddies to hear a school desegregation case in Richmond, and that experience changed his life.

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Joe Morrissey fights to save his law license on March 26

Once again, Joseph D. “Joe” Morrissey is in a fight to save his law license. A three-judge panel is gearing up to decide his future to practice law.

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Former Highland Park church to become affordable housing

A derelict church building on North Side is headed for conversion into 76 apartments. The new apartments would replace the long vacant former Mizpah Presbyterian Church in the 1200 block of East Brookland Park Boulevard near the Six Points intersection in Highland Park.

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VCU center developing master plan for historic Evergreen Cemetery

Richmond’s biggest university is taking a role in restoring the historic, but neglected Evergreen Cemetery. The Enrichmond Foundation, the new owner of the 127-year-old African-American cemetery, has hired the center for Urban and Regional Analysis in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs to create a master plan for the burial ground, which includes the graves of such notables as banker and businesswoman Maggie L. Walker and newspaper editor and banker John Mitchell Jr.

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Proposed city budget includes $900,000 boost for GRTC

As construction is taking place on Richmond’s new bus rapid-transit system, City Hall is proposing to boost the GRTC subsidy to cover operating losses after July 1.

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City vehicle registration fee headed to Attorney General

Richmond’s $33 annual vehicle registration fee for cars and $38 fee for trucks are the maximum allowed by law, according to City Attorney Allen L. Jackson.

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City Council poised to revive Human Relations Commission

Richmond soon could have a new Human Relations Commission as a platform to hear and investigate residents’ complaints about bias, bigotry and discrimination in areas ranging from race and religion to gender orientation, disability and pregnancy.

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General Assembly approves city charter change for school modernization

By Jeremy M. Lazarus 40-0 in the state Senate.

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Winners and losers

Mayor Levar M. Stoney offers details of his $1.42B, 2-year budget plan

High school students would be able ride GRTC buses without charge on an unlimited basis for a year. After-school programs for city youths would be expanded by enabling six city recreation centers to stay open longer and through support for programs offered by the YMCA, the YWCA and several other youth-serving groups.

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Put Schools First offers $650M plan to modernize city schools

The volunteer Put Schools First committee is rolling out a plan that calls for spending $650 million to modernize all of Richmond’s public schools — with a goal of having 19 completed within seven years and the remaining buildings done within 12 years.

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City Council OKs expensive NFL training center refinancing

Taxpayers cannot escape paying for the Washington pro football team’s summer training camp, a reluctant Richmond City Council has decided.

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RRHA heating problems, repairs continue

Three steps forward and one step back. That’s how it seems to be going for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority in dealing with the heating problems afflicting nearly 10 percent of its 4,000 public housing units.

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City Council votes to expand bulk and brush pickup

Richmond residents can now dispose of used mattresses, old sofas, broken chairs and worn-out kitchen tables, along with brush and tree limbs from their yards, at no additional charge. A divided Richmond City Council voted 5-4 Monday night to expand the bulk and brush program to include items that previously were banned.

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City apparently losing money on vehicle registration fees

Last year, the City of Richmond charged city vehicle owners a $33 annual registration fee for each of their cars, a $38 fee for each pickup or heavy-duty truck and $18 for each motorcycle.

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Taxpayers on hook for $11.25M for NFL training camp

Richmond taxpayers are being handed an $11.25 million bill for the Washington pro football team’s summer training camp on Leigh Street.

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Ora Lomax matched with new dialysis center

The saga of Ora Lomax and her search for a new dialysis center has a happy ending after weeks of drama. The 86-year-old NAACP activist has been reassigned to a new center after being booted from the West End Dialysis Center after 12 years.

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City receives only one proposal for Coliseum replacement

That remains the unanswered question as City Hall moves to review the one and only proposal submitted to replace the 46-year-old Richmond Coliseum with a modern $200 million arena and tackle other development in a 10-block area around the building, including a new hotel and housing.

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Divine sounds: Foote family celebrates gospel radio station's first anniversary

Foote family celebrates gospel radio station’s first anniversary

Richmond radio station WQCN is marking its first anniversary of delivering gospel to fans in the area on 105.3 FM. Better known as “The Choice,” the station is the growing broadcast arm of the 150-member Faith & Love Fellowship Church based on South Side.

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Councilwoman seeks to expand bulk trash pickup service

Richmond City Councilwoman Kim B. Gray wants the city to include mattresses and upholstered furniture among the items routinely picked up without charge as part of the new biweekly bulk-and-brush collection program.

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Police officers, city settle overtime lawsuit

City Hall has agreed to pay a bit more than $27,000 to four police officers who claimed they were denied overtime pay while assigned to former Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ security detail.

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African dance company eyeing former Jackson Ward church building

Could the vacant former Sharon Baptist Church in Jackson Ward become a performing arts center for an African dance company and other arts groups?

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Dr. Grace E. Harris, whose leadership helped transform VCU, dies at 84

Grace Edmondson Harris was rejected when she first sought admission to what is now Virginia Commonwealth University because she was African-American.

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Dialysis transfer up in the air for Ora Lomax

Ora M. Lomax expects to be transferred to another dialysis clinic, but it won’t be DaVita Dialysis Henrico in the Brookhill Azalea Shopping Center as she first expected.

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Salsa classes may offer wider lessons

Is salsa coming to Richmond Public Schools? Attorney Brent A. Jackson is pushing to make it happen.

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Feeding schools’ budget

City Council approves 1.5% meals tax hike for schools construction

On July 1, people dining out in Richmond will pay an extra 1.5 percent in tax on their prepared meals. The projected extra $9 million in annual tax revenue will be used to repay $150 million the city plans to borrow to build up to four new schools in Church Hill and South Side to replace aging and decaying buildings.

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Richmonder takes tech talent for transportation across country

Transportation planning used to involve a lot of educated guesswork on how, when and where people drive in cities and the countryside.

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Former owner of WCLM radio settles, withdraws lawsuit

Preston T. Brown is ending his legal fight with his partners who bought the former WCLM-1450 AM radio station he co-owned and operated for 21 years.

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State auditor concludes city doesn’t need state intervention

Richmond can handle its financial problems without the state needing to hold its hand. That’s the conclusion the state auditor of public accounts reached after reviewing the city’s information on its financial operations and holding discussions with the city’s finance officials.

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Church to become regional private school for children with disabilities

A former church is about to become the new home of a regional private school that serves children with autism and other mental challenges.

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City Council vote on meals tax hike set for Feb.12

Proving more adept at corralling a majority of City Council votes on a big issue than former Mayors L. Douglas Wilder and Dwight C. Jones, Mayor Levar M. Stoney is rushing to gain quick approval of his plan to raise the city’s current 6 percent meals tax by 1.5 cents.